chapter  5
Explaining tragedy: the voice of ironic nondiscursivity in Bahram Sadeqi and Mohammad Asef Soltanzadeh
Pages 16

Undoubtedly, Bahram Sadeqi is the most significant ironist in Iran’s twentiethcentury fiction. He was writing and publishing during the period of 1957-72, but it took a long time for his works to receive appropriate readings and analyses and to find their proper place in Iran’s history of contemporary literature. Still, Sadeqi’s work has not been analyzed sufficiently from the point of view of his literary techniques and merits. There are two main reasons for this. As I will comment later, the significance of Sadeqi’s work lies in its crafting of an extremely effective system to reject prevalent discourses and narratives in their various forms. These forms refer not only to the discourse in power but to familiar discourses that challenge the sociopolitical power apparatus. In situations where narrative catalysts belonging to these discourses have been contrived and installed in all fields of human activities (including literary production), it is very difficult to relate to works such as those by Sadeqi because, once they are put through such filters, not much will be left of them. In other words, for those whose readings are based on such discourses, a great part of these works should be ignored so that they may be reduced to the level of familiar narratives. Or, they will be regarded as intellectual nonsense that has nothing much to say. The second reason that explains the difficulty of relating to such works is their technical characteristics. In these works, instead of being contextualized in a lighthearted atmosphere, the ironies are presented in a dark sarcasm that encompasses even the reader and the author/narrator. Bahram Sadeqi’s “Sarasar Hadeseh” (Action-Packed) is one such example.